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->''"This bronze. Yes, now's the moment; I'm looking at this thing on the mantelpiece, and I understand that I'm in {{hell}}. I tell you, everything's been thought out beforehand. They knew I'd stand at the fireplace stroking this thing of bronze, with all those eyes intent on me. Devouring me. What? Only two of you? I thought there were more; many more. So this is hell. I'd never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the burning marl, Old wives' tales! There's no need for red-hot pokers. HELL IS--OTHER PEOPLE!"''
-->-- '''Garcin'''

A classic play by Creator/JeanPaulSartre that's highly popular in UsefulNotes/{{Existentialism}}, ''No Exit'' is an often darkly comic look at the SelfInflictedHell faced by its three [[VillainProtagonist protagonists]]. They are [[DomesticAbuse Joseph]] [[DirtyCoward Garcin]], an insecure journalist; [[CardCarryingVillain Inès]] [[{{Sadist}} Serrano]], a [[PsychoLesbian lesbian]] postal clerk, and [[CuteAndPsycho Estelle]] [[{{Yandere}} Rigault]], a [[StepfordSmiler beautiful and charming]] young aristocrat.
!!Contains examples of:
* AskAStupidQuestion: Once he gets over the fact that he's not being sent to a FireAndBrimstoneHell, Garcin asks why he's not been given a toothbrush. The Valet explains this is common for new arrivals.
-->'''The Valet:''' All our guests ask me the same questions. Silly questions, if you'll pardon my saying so. Where's the torture-chamber? That's the first thing they ask, all of them. They don't bother their heads about the bathroom requisites, that I can assure you. But after a bit, when they've got their nerve back, they start in about their toothbrushes and what-not.
* AssholeVictim: Garcin and Estelle at first insist that they're in hell because of a mistake. They aren't. Inès at least is very well aware that she was an evil person and had this coming.
* AtLeastIAdmitIt: Inès is the first to realize that they're in Hell, and she makes no bones about what a terrible person she was. Garcin and Estelle, by contrast, attempt to keep up their genteel facades for a while, over which she browbeats them relentlessly. Eventually it's Garcin who suggests they all come clean and admit why they've been damned.
* AttentionWhore: All three of them, which is a major reason they're perfect for tormenting each other-- they're completely incapable of leaving each other alone.
* BadassPacifist: Garcin ''thinks'' he's this, but he's really a DirtyCoward.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Estelle appears nice at first, but she's truly vicious.
* BrutalHonesty: Inès doesn't mince her words.
* CardCarryingVillain: Inès is quite self-aware of what a terrible person she is.
* TheCasanova: Garcin. One of his flaws is his lust.
* CellPhonesAreUseless: A precursor to cell phones, when showing off the room the Valet draws attention to the service bell that the protagonists are to ring if they want something from the staff. He casually points out that the wiring on the bell is bad and it tends to be unreliable, never ringing when someone actually needs something. Sure enough, the bell breaks immediately after the Valet leaves, and only serves to mockingly reinforce the fact that our protagonists are sealed in together alone.
* CoitusUninterruptus: In life, Garcin was fond of bringing his conquests home in full view of his wife, and making her serve them coffee in bed. [[spoiler:He does it with Estelle during the course of the play whilst Inès offers running commentary, in a ''very'' awkward scene.]]
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: Hell involves locking you in a small hotel room with two [[LaserGuidedKarma similarly unpleasant]] [[{{Jerkass}} people]]... '''''[[AndIMustScream forever]]'''''. [[spoiler:Better yet, the door isn't locked. It even pops open near the end. '''''No one''' has the nerve to leave.'' It's implied that the door will only open at a time when the people in the room won't decide to leave.]]
* DeadToBeginWith: Our protagonists are introduced entering the hotel, which is Hell.
* DirtyCoward: Garcin deserted and met his end by firing squad.
* DomesticAbuse: [[spoiler: Garcin was emotionally abusive to his wife, whom he also openly cheated on. That more than his deserting the army sent him to Hell.]]
* EpiphanicPrison: [[spoiler: The door pops open into the end, allowing the protagonists to leave. None do, because they're all too dependent on each other. Since nobody had an epiphany, they're all stuck there forever.]]
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: A uniquely dark and disturbing example since the people are in hell and their laughter could be them going insane.
* EvilIsPetty: The pettiness of all three is readily apparent, and as the play goes on we see how deep their evil deeds go.
* FreudianTrio: Garcin is Ego, the harshly critical Inès eventually becomes the Superego (while acting like Id at first), and the psychotic Estelle reveals herself to be Id.
* TheGadfly: Inès appears to be this at first, and while she's the most pronounced, all three are soon revealed to be Gadflies to each other. That's their punishment- they're stuck in a room making each other miserable forever.
* HellHotel: Arguably, this is the inversion (rather than an Earthly hotel being hellish, Hell is a rather normal Earthly hotel–on the surface anyway).
* InsistentTerminology: Garcin and Estelle tend to fall into this a fair deal to try and distance themselves from what's become of them. Garcin avoids mentioning Hell by name to the Valet, referring to it as "This residence" while Estelle insists they all refer to themselves as "absentees" as opposed to dead people.
* IronicHell: A very stripped-down, bare-bones version. You got sent to hell because you're an unpleasant person. Your punishment is to be locked into a room with two ''other'' unpleasant people. Forever. [[spoiler: And you're not even locked in- [[SelfInflictedHell it's only your psychological flaws, the ones that got you sent to hell in the first place, that keep you there]].]]
* ItsAllAboutMe: All three are this, leading to the sins that caused them to become damned to begin with. They spend a good deal of time in hell fussing about how they're remembered on Earth, and (claiming) their friends are remembering them unfairly.
* {{Jerkass}}: The three of them in life, which comes to be used as their mutual hell.
* MeaningfulName:
** Garcin: Resembles the French word for "boy". It comes from his desire to be seen as a hero or a man.
** Estelle: Est-elle or "is she". Comes from the fact that she can't know if she's real or not without seeing herself in a mirror.
* MinimalistCast: The only characters are Estelle, Garcin, Inès, and the Valet (who's a one-scene wonder).
* MundaneAfterlife: The characters' afterlife is a mundane-looking hotel room with three couches, much to their amusement. The dialog does make it clear that Hell isn't like this for everyone, though.
-->'''Garcin:''' ''(Gesturing a the decor)'' Are all the rooms like this one?\\
'''The Valet:''' How could they be? We cater to all sorts.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler: After taking a liking to her cousin's wife, Inès manipulated his murder so she'd have her to herself.]]
* OffingTheOffspring: [[spoiler: Estelle, after being impregnated by her lover and not wishing her husband to find out, drowns the baby in a lake.]]
* OnlySaneMan: Garcin believes himself to be this. He thinks that he's a provider and pacifist who has no reason to be here. Inès is the real deal, being the first one to recognize that they're in Hell, there for very good reasons, and are supposed to torture each other.
* OntologicalMystery: The play begins with them in a hotel, which they determine to be hell and then puzzle out why they are there.
* PsychoLesbian: Inès. It's never outright stated that she's a lesbian, but it's pretty clear she is.
* RememberTheDead: In one scene, Inès sees a man and a woman having sex on her bed, then her vision blacks out because she no longer has an alibi.
* {{Sadist}}: Inès lives for hurting others and quite readily admits it.
* SealedRoomInTheMiddleOfNowhere: The play's setting. [[spoiler:As it turns out, it doesn't ''have'' to be sealed.]]
* SelfInflictedHell: The context of the famous "Hell is other people" quote. The only reason Hell is anything like hellish is because all the protagonists are horrible people who can't help but make each other miserable via social interaction. [[spoiler:Made even more poignant by the fact that the protagonists are given several opportunities to escape during the play, but are held back every time by their own flaws, fears and anxieties. Not only is hell other people, '''YOU''' are its security system.]]
* ServileSnarker: The Valet takes immense pleasure in welcoming the new guests, letting them figure out the nature of their hell for themselves and answering questions only when prompted.
* SillyRabbitCynicismIsForLosers: This is part of the entire point. At the end of the story, it's implied that the main characters could leave at any time they wished to, but their own character flaws and lack of empathy with each other prevent them from doing so.
* TriangRelations: {{Played with}} all over the place. Hell picks the roommates very well; every one of them is ''capable'' of respecting each other at least superficially, but when any two start getting along, the third person will try to break it up out of jealousy. All three are attention whores and cannot stand the other two being friendly. Estelle makes romantic overtures at both but really wants to get with Garcin, who ends up ignoring her in favor of Inès (because he thinks that Inès, as the OnlySaneMan, will be able to validate him), while Inès ignores and degrades him because she's in love with Estelle. The three are perfectly suited to constantly torturing each other via social shenanigans, and yet incapable of dealing with the idea of leaving the other two.
* TrophyWife: Estelle was this in life, the young, pretty wife of a much older (and wealthier) gentleman.
* VillainProtagonist: All of the characters are horrible people that have done horrible things. That's why they're in Hell, but only Inès recognizes this fact at first.
* {{Yandere}}: Estelle was displeased by one of her lovers, so she took a horrible revenge [[spoiler:by throwing their child off a balcony in front of him]].
* YearOutsideHourInside: During the play, the characters have visions of life progressing without them on Earth, and it seems unlike usual Hells in which an eternity is actually a second, what feels like a brief time in Hell is actually several months on the outside.
* YourCheatingHeart: Garcin and Estelle both cheated on their spouses, and Garcin even made his wife serve them coffee in bed. Inès, on the other hand, just went for MurderTheHypotenuse.